pre-Lent

PRAYER: A Good Collect For Shrove Tuesday

March 5, 2019

Let us pray (in silence) that we may live as forgiven people. pause God of infinite mercy, grant that we who know your compassion may rejoice in your forgiveness and gladly forgive others for the sake of Jesus Christ our Savior who is alive with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. [...]

POETRY: Quinquagesima Sunday by Blessed John Keble

March 4, 2019

I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the Earth. (Genesis 9:13) Sweet Dove! the softest, steadiest plume In all the sunbright sky, Brightening in ever-changeful bloom As breezes change on high;— Sweet Leaf! the pledge of peace and mirth, “Long sought, and lately won,” Bless’d increase of reviving Earth, When first it felt the Sun;— Sweet Rainbow! pride of summer days, High set at Heaven’s command, Though into drear and dusky haze Thou melt on either hand;— Dear tokens of a pardoning God, We hail ye, one and all, As when our father’s wak’d abroad, Freed from their twelvemonths’ thrall. How joyful from th’ imprisoning ark, On the green [...]

PRAYER: Prayer For Quinquagesima by Johannes Eichorn

March 4, 2019

Lord God, Heavenly Father, who graciously opened the eyes of the blind man through your Son, Jesus Christ, and let the Light be seen, we poor sinners beseech you that you would enlighten our hearts through your blessed Word, that we would learn to know you rightly through Christ, your Son, who died for us on the cross and paid for our sins. Mercifully grant us in all distresses and attacks of Satan to look only at your gracious help and your tender-hearted mercy, seek them by a prayer uttered in faith, and thus find solace and rescue from the devil, sin, and death, and be numbered among the blessed. [...]

SERMON: Of Charity, or The Love of God by Jeremy Taylor

March 3, 2019

Love is the greatest thing that God can give us; for himself is love; and it is the greatest thing we can give to God; for it will also give ourselves and carry with it all that is ours. The apostle calls it the band of perfection; it is the old, and it is the new, and it is the great commandment, and it is all the commandments; for it is the fulfilling of the law. It does the work of all other graces without any instrument but its own immediate virtue. For as the love to sin makes a man sin against all his own reason, and all the discourses of wisdom, and all the advices of his friends, and without temptation, and without opportunity, so does the love of God; it makes a man chaste without the laborious arts of fasting and exterior [...]

POETRY: Sexagesima by Christina Georgina Rossetti

February 27, 2019

Yet Earth was very good in days of old, And Earth is lovely still: Still for the sacred flock she spreads the fold, For Sion rears the hill. Mother she is, and cradle of our race, A depth where treasures lie, The broad foundation of a holy place, Man’s step to scale the sky. She spreads the harvest-field which Angels reap, And lo! the crop is white; She spreads God’s Acre where the happy sleep All night that is not night. Earth may not pass till Heaven shall pass away, Nor Heaven may be renewed Except with Earth: and once more in that day Earth shall be very [...]

PRAYER: Prayer For Sexagesima

February 25, 2019

Lord God, Heavenly Father, we thank you that you have sown your Blessed Word among us through your Son, Jesus Christ. We beseech you that you would so prepare our hearts through your Holy Spirit that we would hear this Word with diligence, keep it in noble and good hearts, and with patience bring forth fruit. Mercifully grant that we may not be choked by sins, but that by your merciful help we smother them. In every kind of danger may your grace and eternal consolation hold us steady and give us sure comfort. [...]

SERMON: A Sermon For Sexagesima Sunday (and the Purification of Our Lady) by Robert Crouse

February 24, 2019

The seed is the word of God that on the good ground are they who hearing the word keep it and bring forth fruit with patience.  (Luke 8:11-15) For thus saith the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: Break up anew your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.  (Jeremiah 4:3) The three Sundays before Lent, Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima, constitute a time of preparation; and the scripture lessons appointed for these Sundays have the purpose of preparing our minds and hearts for the spiritual undertaking which lies before us in the season of Lent – our spiritual pilgrimage, our spiritual journey with Jesus to Jerusalem. Thus, on the first of these Sundays – Septuagesima – the lessons impress upon us the urgency of our [...]

POETRY: Septuagesima by John Betjeman

February 20, 2019

Septuagesima—seventy days To Easter’s primrose tide of praise; The Gesimas—Septua, Sexa, Quinc Mean Lent is near, which makes you think. Septuagesima—when we’re told To “run the race,” to “keep our hold,” Ignore injustice, not give in, and practice stern self-discipline; A somewhat unattractive time Which hardly lends itself to rhyme. But still it gives the chance to me To praise our dear old C. of E. So other churches please forgive Lines on the church in which I live, The Church of England of my birth, The kindest church to me on Earth. There may be those who like things fully Argued out, and call you “woolly”; Ignoring Creeds and Catechism They say the C. of E.’s “in schism.” There may be those who much [...]

LENT: Preparing For Lent

February 12, 2018

From Full Homely Divinity “The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting.” (The Book of Common Prayer). By the middle of the fifth century, the church had taken a similar approach to preparing for Advent, then known as “Saint Martin’s Lent.” Much of what follows may also be profitably applied to Advent. Since Lent is itself a season of preparation, it may seem like overkill to have to prepare for Lent. Yet, how will we take full advantage of the opportunity of Lent if we wait until the last minute to decide how to keep it? Both the Eastern and Western [...]

THE CHURCH YEAR: Gesima Sundays by Gregory Wassen

February 11, 2018

From The Anglican Breviary The three Sundays before Lent begin with Septuagesima, continue with Sexgesima, and conclude with Quinquagesima. They each put us in orbit around the theme of Easter. Septuagesima places us 70 days away from Easter, Sexagesima, 60, and Quinquagesima 50 days. The numbers don’t add up precisely, but that is besides the point. This is not about mathematics so much as about theology. The Lord said unto Adam, Of the tree which is in midst of paradise thou shalt not eat, * for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. The Lord said unto Noah: The end of all flesh is come before me: * make thee an ark of wood, that thereby the seed of all flesh may be saved. Mighty Abraham, the father of our faith, * [...]